L'Oreal's handheld skincare dispenser doles out custom formula at each press

Cherlynn Low
Reviews Editor

Beauty tech is tricky business. Every other month it seems like a new company pops up, promising to make a custom blended product that targets your specific skin type and concerns. But there are also environmental factors that affect what you'd want to apply, and these change when you travel or move. You're not going to want to reorder a whole new bottle just for the winter and another for when you go on a beach holiday.

L'Oreal has a more elegant solution in the works called the Perso Smart Skincare system, which is a portable skincare dispenser that spits out a small amount of product that is formulated each time you push its button.

First, you'll have to use the companion app to set up your profile, take three photos of your face from different angles and clarify your concerns. The system will use L'Oreal's Modiface system to scan your selfies for issues like wrinkles, sun spots and pore visibility. Based on your location, the AI will then take into consideration environmental factors like temperature, UV and pollen levels. You can set the type of formula you want too and make a moisturizer, serum or eye cream.

Then, when you're ready to start slathering, you can push a button in the app or on the device and the Perso will decide what ingredients are optimal for you at that time. If you triggered it at night, for example, you could get something with more active ingredients, since you won't be exposed to the sun for a while. In the morning, the Perso might include more sunscreen and perhaps even a tint for the moisturizer.

Loreal Perso

The machine contains three cartridges, so you only have three ingredients to play with at once. You can rotate from a variety of cartridges available though and swap them out whenever you need something different. For example, if I were using the Perso here at CES, I'd bring the serum and moisturizer cartridges and leave my active vials at home.

After you push the button, the nozzles dispense the calculated amount of each ingredient onto a platform at the top of the device. You'll use your finger or a stirrer to mix it up and then apply it: L'Oreal said the Perso produces just the right amount for your face each time.

The Perso is also available as a lipstick maker, and that version will let you select the color you desire each time. It'll also generate a selection of shades based on the latest Instagram beauty influencers, so you can always stay on trend. You can make sure the color suits you before "printing" it by using the augmented reality camera to digitally overlay the lipstick on your face. I was impressed by how the real-world color came out exactly how it appeared in the app, which also accurately outlined my lips with pigment.

The Perso is still an early prototype coming out of L'Oreal's technology incubator, and it's not going to be ready for retail until at least early 2021. Incubator head Guive Balooch said his team is figuring out details like what the vials would contain, which L'Oreal brands would use such a system and so on. I'm intrigued by the entire concept already though. It could potentially declutter my beauty shelf and make it easier to stay well stocked when I travel without needing to lug around a ton of bottles.